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Posted: January 28, 2018

Family in 'torture house' case fled Texas home after one daughter escaped, neighbor says

Neighbor Says Family in "Torture House" Fled Texas After One Daughter Escaped


Family in 'torture house' case fled Texas home after one daughter escaped, neighbor says
Photo credit: Terry Pierson/The Press-Enterprise, Pool via AP

By Carlin Becker,


According to a former neighbor, the family in the California "torture house" case mysteriously disappeared from their Texas home in 2010, just days after one of their 13 children escaped and went looking for help.

>> Oldest sibling in 'torture house' case was frail, bullied in elementary school, classmate says

“All of a sudden they just disappeared,” the neighbor said, the Daily Mail reported, citing the Mercury News. “No one ever saw them again.”

David and Louise Turpin reportedly moved their family around often and suddenly left the Texas home they had lived in from 1999-2010 after one of their children allegedly got out of the house in search of assistance. According to the neighbor, the girl “went walking down the road” when another neighbor saw her and took her back home. Before they arrived at her house, the girl reportedly asked to use a telephone. The neighbor believes she called 911 because the family vanished a few days later.

>> On Uncle reportedly wants to adopt children held captive in 'torture house'

“It wasn’t until about a few days later that they left,” she said. “They just disappeared. He didn’t make any more payments on that place or anything.”

The Riverside district attorney said the parents’ alleged abuse may have begun while the family was living in the Texas home. At one point, the Turpins reportedly moved into a mobile home on the property and even stayed at a separate home from their children on some occasions, coming by now and then to drop off food.

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The Turpins were arrested earlier this month after one of their daughters climbed out a window in their California home and called police. They face 94 years to life in prison if convicted of the 38 charges pressed against them, including child abuse, torture and false imprisonment. On Wednesday, a judge barred them against having any direct or indirect contact with their children and ordered them to stay at least 100 yards away from them at all times. They have both pleaded not guilty.

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